News Release: Law, Religion and Ethics

Sep. 15,  2008

Religious Leaders to Discuss Tough Legal Issues

New CSLR Lecture Series: 'When Law and Religion Meet'

The Most Rev. Wilton D. Gregory, Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta, and the Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, are among those headlining a new lecture series sponsored by Emory University's Center for the Study of Law and Religion (CSLR).

The series, "When Law and Religion Meet," provides a forum for religious leaders to discuss difficult legal, moral and ethical issues facing their religious communities. Lectures take place at Emory Law's Tull Auditorium, 1301 Clifton Road, on the Emory campus in Atlanta. They are free and open to the public.

For more information: or call 404-712-8710.

The Most Rev. Wilton D. Gregory: The Catholic church and the death penalty

Gregory leads the series by delivering the CSLR's annual Decalogue Lecture Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. He will address the Catholic Church's hard stance on capital punishment and other dignity of life issues in a lecture titled "The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty." He also has agreed to take questions from the audience about any topic. The Aquinas Center of Theology at Emory is co-sponsoring the lecture.

Gregory was appointed by Pope John Paul II as the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta in January 2005. Prior to his appointment, Gregory served as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, where under his leadership, the bishops implemented the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" in response to the escalating crisis of sex abuse by Catholic clergy. Read biography.

The Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson: Religion and gay civil rights

Robinson delivers the CSLR's annual Currie Lecture in Law and Religion March 30, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. He will address the divide in the Episcopal Church caused by his election as bishop in 2003 in a lecture titled "Why Religion Matters in the Quest for Gay Civil Rights." Mark Jordan, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion and CSLR senior fellow, will respond.

Robinson was elected bishop in 2003 after serving as Canon to the Ordinary for nearly 18 years. He is the first openly gay, noncelibate priest to be ordained a bishop in a major Christian denomination believing in the historic episcopate. Since his election, theologically conservative parishes have aligned themselves with bishops outside the Episcopal Church in the United States, a movement called the Anglican realignment. Read biography.

Mona Siddiqui:  Islamic law vs. English law

Mona Siddiqui, professor of Islamic studies and public understanding at the University of Glasgow, lectures March 18, 2009, at noon, about the stark differences between Islamic law and English law. Her lecture, titled "Islamic Law in Britain: A Minor Problem or a Problem for a Minority?" outlines her experiences as an expert witness in anti-terrorism cases. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na`im, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law and CSLR senior fellow, will respond.

Siddiqui joined the University of Glasgow in 1996, where she founded the Center for the Study of Islam in 1998 to develop the religious studies program. Her areas of research include classical Islamic law, and she has applied her research in anti-terrorism cases and issues relating to Muslim family law in the United Kingdom. Siddiqui also is a well-known public figure in the U.K., where she works for a wide range of public bodies and media. Read biography.

"We are bringing religious leaders to our podium so we can hear directly how their communities are facing and faring under legal, moral and ethical challenges," says John Witte Jr., Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and CSLR director. "I believe the patterns of human laws over time will reflect something of the meaning of religious truth, and the patterns of religious truth over time will, in turn, reflect something of the measure of divine laws."

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion (CSLR) at Emory University is home to world-class scholars and forums on the religious foundations of law, politics, and society. It offers first-rank expertise on how the teachings and practices of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have shaped and can continue to transform the fundamental ideas and institutions of our public and private lives. The scholarship of CSLR faculty provides the latest perspectives, while its conferences and public forums foster reasoned and robust public debate.


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